I can’t grow tomatoes. My entire yard is the victim(?)/benefactor(?) of dense shade.  Those of you who have been around for a while may recall my adventures with the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planters last year.  I think I paid around $100.00 for three planters, ten tomato plants, fertilizer and soil and the plants managed to produce a half dozen scraggly tomatoes which the squirrels devoured before they were even ripe.

For Mother’s Day, DS borrowed a rototiller and dug up a 10 x 10 area across the street in a vacant lot.  It gets full sun all day.  Yesterday morning, we went out and bought 15 heirloom tomato plants, basil, lemongrass, pepper plants and cilantro.  I did a little research on the tomatoes and bought several unique varieties that were recommended as “best tasting heirloom tomatoes”.  Hence: the Green Zebras which are supposed to be delicious and are rather unusual in appearance and the Mortgage Lifters which are supposed to produce huge tomatoes.  Maybe the squirrels will be satisfied with just one tomato at a time.  Then again, maybe one of the big mamas will fall on them and crush the little thieves.

I went by Home Depot and found large cages that weren’t priced.  Asked them how much they were and “Tina” said she thought they were $.99 each but she wasn’t sure.  I said that sounded pretty cheap (most places are selling them for three or four dollars) and she said she thought they were on sale for $.99.  I asked her if she would check to be sure and she said, “Just tell them Tina said to charge you $.99 each for them.  If they give you a problem, have them call me.”

The cashier rang them up at $3.49 each and I told her Tina said they were on sale for $.99 each.  She said, “They’re on sale but $3.49 is the sale price.  They’re usually $4.49.”  I told her to call Tina and she just sighed and rang them up at $.99.  SCORE!!!

DS may have tilled the ground but it was still a lot of work.  Adding 8 bags of manure/humus and two large bags of peat moss to condition the soil and then digging down to a depth of at least two feet around each plant to secure the cages.  When the entire garden was finally planted, we had to connect two long hoses and drag them all the way across the street to make sure all the plants were settled in with a nice, long drink of water.  I imagine there’s going to be a lot of cursing and ranting over the summer as I try to drag the hose across the road and fight with kinks and tangles and cars but, at least, I should get some tasty tomatoes and a good supply of fresh basil and cilantro.  Until they start to bolt….

On the DIL front…things are not looking so good.  She’s driving DS crazy.  She’s in between boyfriends and not holding up very well.  Last week, for example, she called DS on Tuesday and told him she was sick and needed him to take the boys to school.  On Thursday, she called and said she had to work overtime and wouldn’t be able to pick them up.  He had to drive all the way across town (a 25 minute drive on the interstate, pick them up from daycare and he got halfway back when she called and said she was home and he could drop off the kids.  She invited him in to “talk” but he declined.  Yesterday, she called him around noon and said she was sick and the boys were driving her crazy and he needed to pick them up and “get them out of her hair”.  She said they’d been so bad that she’d grounded them until Wednesday and they weren’t allowed to watch TV, go to their friends, or play on the computer.  Although it isn’t his weekend to have them and he had other plans, he picked them up just to get them away from her.  He asked what time she wanted him to bring them home and she said, “I figured you’d keep them for the weekend.  Scout’s got some kind of school project due and I don’t know what they want or how to do it so you need to help him get it done.  It’s due Wednesday.”  He brought them over and asked Jake if mommy went out Friday night and he said yes.  He said she didn’t get home until he and Scout were already up and she got mad because they wanted to watch TV and she wanted to sleep.  So…she’s back to her old tricks.  Stayed out all night and comes home hungover and mean as a snake.  We looked at Scout’s homework assignment and it’s a major project that was assigned on May 1st and is due on the 19th so she’s known about it for more than two weeks and hasn’t done anything.  He needs a scrapbook, posterboard, pictures, and a lot of time to get it finished.  Guess that’s what DS will be doing today.

I don’t know what to do.  Other than keeping track of everything.  We knew this would happen as soon as no one was monitoring her.  She’s lost her apartment, staying with her mom, running through boyfriends, staying out all night, collecting child support and getting assistance with food, daycare, and who knows what else and she’s out partying and neglecting the kids.  DS and I tried and tried to tell anyone who would listen about how she is and we got treated like dirt and called liars and told that we were vindictive and non supportive and not acting in the best interests of the kids.

Of course, he could tell her it’s not his problem but the boys are the ones who suffer.  What would their weekend have been like if he hadn’t picked them up?  When they got here yesterday, they were moody and arguementative and whiney but it only took a couple of hours of get them back in good spirits.  They helped in the garden and went shopping with us.  I told them they couldn’t play on the computer or watch TV but I made sure they had plenty of games and books and DS ordered pizza and played Monopoly with them until bedtime.  We’re placed in the position of having to support her “punishment” because we don’t want them to learn to manipulate their parents but it really pisses me off to have to enforce a punishment that was given to them because she had a hangover and didn’t want to deal with caring for them.


round says 16th May @ 13:05

She is really a viper this woman, your ex DIL. I hope you’re calmly & carefully documenting because I’m afraid you’ll need it again once she finds the next boyfriend.

Both you & your son are doing a great job of keeping your frustration with her from damaging your relationship with them – must be tiring but I’m sure you add roots and sanity where it’s sorely missed.


beerab says 20th May @ 14:53

Document document document! Everytime he picks them up, everytime she’s late, everytime she says “I can’t handle them” and so on.

Good for your son for standing his ground and not “talking” with her. Pft the only thing I’d want to hear is “I’m signing away my rights.”

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